Fuel price hike pushes up cost of air and sea travel

Speedboats dock near Male' City. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The cost of air and sea travel has begun to increase as the price of fuel continues to rise in the global market.

Aviation industry expert, the Managing Director of Inner Maldives, Mohamed Firaq told Sun that many airlines have already begun increasing the fuel surcharge.

“If we were to sustain business, the changes to price of fuel will be reflected in ticket prices,” he said.

Firaq said that while there has already been a slowdown in the rate of tourist bookings with the rise in prices, it will be some time before the extent of the impact can be properly assessed.

The head of a company that provides speedboat ferry services between Male’ City and N. Atoll told Sun that the company needs to increase the price of speedboat ferry services, with the rise in price of fuel.

“Before the increase in fuel price, the rate was between MVR 700 and MVR 800. But we currently travel at for MVR 880 or MVR 890,” he said.

He said that though they may have increased ticket prices, many of their customers were aware of the reason they were forced to push up prices.

He said that there had therefore not been much complaint.

While airlines and ferry services providers have the opportunity to change ticket prices with changes to global prices, taxis do not have the same opportunity, as taxi fares are controlled by the government.

However, taxi centers have banded together to submit a petition to the Transport Ministry urging a fast rollout of taximeters and an increase in fares.

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil is currently at USD 125.92 in the global market - the highest it has risen since 2014.